The Texas Rising Star program is “a voluntary, quality-based child care rating system of child care providers participating in the Texas Workforce Commission’s subsidized child care program.” TRS Certification is available to Licensed Center and Licensed and Registered Child Care Home providers who meet the certification criteria. The TRS Provider certification system offers three levels of certification (Two-Star, Three-Star, and Four-Star) to encourage providers to attain progressively higher certification requirements leading to a Four-Star level.
A Texas Rising Star (TRS) provider is a child care provider that has an agreement to serve Texas Workforce Commission (TWC)-subsidized children and that voluntarily meets requirements that exceed the State’s Minimum Child Care Licensing (CCL) Standards.
Across Texas, parents and families enroll their children into child care programs, including center-based and home-based programs. Numerous research studies have shown that at-risk children who attend higher quality child care programs are more prepared for school entry than children who do not attend quality child care programs.
Those providers that voluntarily achieve TRS provider certification, offering quality care that exceeds the State’s Minimum Child Care Licensing Standards for director and staff qualifications, caregiver-child interactions, age-appropriate curricula and activities, nutrition and indoor/outdoor activities, and parent involvement and education, are in a better position to contribute to the early development of children. As providers progress through the levels of TRS provider certification, they contribute progressively more to the development of the children they serve on a daily basis.
Texas Rising Star: A QRIS for Texas
In recent years, many states have adopted quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) to measure the quality of child care programs and provide professional development to help these programs improve the quality of care they offer to children and families. The National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center defines QRIS as a “systematic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early and school-aged care and education programs.” Thirty-nine states currently implement some type of QRIS.
In September 2013, the Texas Early Learning Council released recommendations for the state to develop a statewide, cross-sector QRIS for Texas. One of the recommendations included Texas Rising Star as the basis for a QRIS in Texas.